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NASA Science

Hubble Discovers 5th Moon of Pluto 137

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-traffic-for-some-new-horizons-frogger dept.
Stirling Newberry writes "This image shows 'P5,' the placeholder name for a fifth natural moon of Pluto, a tiny sliver that orbits ~29,000 miles from its primary in a circular orbit. Other than Charon, Hubble has been the means by which astronomers have found all of the known moons of Pluto. 'The new detection will help scientists navigate NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft through the Pluto system in 2015, when it makes an historic and long-awaited high-speed flyby of the distant world. The team is using Hubble’s powerful vision to scour the Pluto system to uncover potential hazards to the New Horizons spacecraft. Moving past the dwarf planet at a speed of 30,000 miles per hour, New Horizons could be destroyed in a collision with even a BB-shot-size piece of orbital debris.'"
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Hubble Discovers 5th Moon of Pluto

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  • by Artifakt (700173) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @07:25PM (#40622565)

    You left out a 'were' in the last sentence, ergo your argument is invalid. (Not really, I'm well over 30 and, looking back on my public school education, I was often indoctrinated by utter morons. I suspect it's gotten worse, not better, but perhaps that's an observer bias).
            Pluto is now counted as a dwarf planet. By proper English, that means Pluto is still a planet, just as dwarf humans are still humans. The IAU can't get very basic English rules correct, so why does their opinion carry so much weight? If the US supreme court announced that they reviewed all four amendments and can't find any reason to support the concept of privacy, would you still respect the court's decisions? If your doctor didn't know how many kidneys you were supposed to have, wouldn't you find another doctor? So if the IAU thinks dwarfs in the real world are a species from Tolkien's Middle Earth, maybe it's time to start ignoring them until they at least learn how to speak at the eighth grade level or thereabouts, and understand that a modifier is not automatically, or even usually, a negating prefix.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @07:27PM (#40622597)

    primary difference between liberal/conservative being whom you think its OK to steal from? And the only person they both agree its OK to steal from seems to be me.

    I think it boils down to two different groups of people:

    1. Those that have more than they need.
    2. Those that need more than they have.

    I am one of the first and I give to the second. In the six years since my wife died, I have given $50+ K to my friends in need and another $15+ K to charity - and I plan to keep on giving as needed. My conscience is clean.

    Oh, and I don't hide money [nytimes.com] in the Cayman Islands or Switzerland, like Mitt (potential Weasel in Chief) to avoid paying my fair share of taxes...

  • Re:Not a planet (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Will.Woodhull (1038600) <wwoodhull@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @11:38PM (#40624391) Homepage Journal

    Which is a pretty damn hokey and arbitrary distinction. The Earth's orbit is significantly affected by the Moon's gravitation: its path around the Sun is sinusoidal, quite far from a true elipse, far enough that the locations of perihelion and aphelion shift from year to year depending on the Moon's phase in early January and early July, and these points cannot be predicted without accounting for the Moon's influence.

    The points of perihelion and aphelion of the barycenter of the Earth - Moon pair can be predicted using the same simple formula that works for all the other visible planets, plus Uranus and Neptune. But the Earth itself is sometimes faster, sometimes slower, sometimes closer to the Sun, sometimes further away than the barycenter, all due to its partner's influence. That is the mark of a double planet, not a planet that has a Moon.

    That the most unique feature of the Earth, the presence of our kind of life, could not have come about without the Moon's action as a constant stirring rod is an entirely separate and equally valid argument for regarding the Earth and Moon as parts of a binary planet system.

"Look! There! Evil!.. pure and simple, total evil from the Eighth Dimension!" -- Buckaroo Banzai

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